It’s often not easy to explain exactly what we do at BEE (even to some of our friends and family) – but here is a one minute snapshot of the creative work we have done to date. We hope you enjoy our BEE showreel : )
Despite the fact that the final Paris Agreement has several shortcomings, compared to its predecessors it was a momentous achievement. The very fact that the text includes not only the aim to keep the increase in global average temperatures “well below 2°C” – but also “efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C” is a small miracle in and of itself. Yet despite such ambitious language, and regardless of how difficult the negotiations were – the real challenge remains with how these ambitions are to be implemented on the ground. This begs the question: how are real actions being taken into account, and how can these be scaled up?
Can an integrated approach linking education, communications and outreach help inform, engage and prepare the public in order to develop adequate responses to climate change?
Over twenty years ago the nations of the world agreed to “prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system” by joining the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which has since been ratified by 196 Parties, essentially all the nations of the world.
Something is definitely wrong with climate change communication. If not, there would be daily protests by mothers demanding to shut down every coal plant. „Meatless Mondays” would be universal (cutting back methane emissions), „Black Tuesdays” are the norm (charging of mobile devices prohibited), obligatory „Car-free Wednesdays” (only bikes allowed), real „Reality-TV Thursdays” (only programs dedicated to the most important global issues), and „Climate Change Fridays” in schools would be cool.
So, what can the problem be? Besides many issues related to the complexity of the climate change topic, the channels used to talk about it, the noise of information overload, and the vested interests of opponents – a key problem is the language we use to talk about climate change.
The climate change adaptation field is filled with innumerable reports, articles, projects, even visuals and movies. Yet it still remains a difficult issue to grasp for general audiences, mainly due to a lack of understanding and good communication. What do we really need to say about adaptation, why, and to whom? What is the best way to reach different audiences and to communicate while still avoiding fear or fatigue? In other words, how to communicate a topic that is inherently full of uncertainties?
The Balaton Group is a little-heard-of group of some of the world’s most pioneering sustainability minds. Founded by Donella and Dennis Meadows – authors of the seminal Limits to Growth – it is an annual meeting place to discuss global problems, new solutions, and most of all, leading new actions in the pursuit of sustainability through the help of the systems thinking discipline.
‘Energy efficiency’ is something that you always hear about, when it comes to issues of energy saving or renewables, yet it is still quite abstract. Yes, energy and its savings can be expressed in technical terms – joules, kilowatt hours, etc. – but how often do our eyes and ears go blank when we hear or read such terms? Given this complexity of the energy efficiency topic, and the difficulty in describing and visualizing it in layman’s terms, BEE had an interesting task when we were asked to come up with an energy efficiency campaign 8 countries in South-East Europe, as part of the RE-SEEties project.
Plastic pollution is one of the major challenges facing the world today, and nowhere is this most pressing than in our oceans. It is estimated that 90% of all trash in the oceans is plastic, and this has terrible consequences for both large and small sea creatures. But how can we make the connection between our daily use of plastic, and the fate of creatures deep in the far-away oceans? BEE has developed a new educational project, bringing the story of whales and plastic in the oceans directly to children in their own classrooms. As part of this project, we developed lesson plans for kindergartens, and also a visual storyline. Our first pilot project was in Babolygo Kindergarten in Budapest, Hungary – which included painting wall murals and interactive lessons with the students. A short information video on the project will be published soon!
When discussing how to utilize our resources more efficiently, it is likely that the increased usage of renewables and energy efficiency renewals and programmes come to our mind. However, the benefits of giving the bicycle high priority in the urban plans of our settlements can also reach a surprisingly high level.
How can the currently rising „smart” generation solve problems generated today, without even knowing about their existence? Are the grown-ups of today aware of the nature of these problems at all? If we asked people in the street whether they know what climate change is or what climate at all means, would we receive meaningful answers? As part of my collaboration in a Climate KIC/Mindspace project, these questions were asked in a general survey.
100 years ago, only 20% of the world’s population lived in cities – but today more than 50% of us reside in these concrete jungles. As urban living becomes more dominant, the connections with the natural world are also diminishing. So how can we re-spark this connection – is it possible to find nature within our cities, not only in small square parks or the occasional trees and balcony gardens? “Flowers in the city” is a BEE project, bringing together photography and imagination: seeing the elements of nature within man-made structures. Stay tuned for the final products…
Did you ever think twice about using a hand dryer in a public bathroom? Well, after seeing this story we hope you will! BEE is currently developing a short “pop-up” video about the impacts of unnecessary energy consumption – told through the story of a hand dryer. This is an experimental technique, but we have high hopes of a wide distribution. Coming soon…
A new educational project aimed at kids. BEE is developing an illustrated short story book, built around the life cycle of a mobile phone. Although mobile phones are ubiquitous in our lives, we often do not think of where they come from, or even where they go once we are tired of them. But how can we get such a complex message through to kids? The illustrations and story we are developing will help to bring the mobile phone to life – and hopefully make the audience more conscious of such an everyday object. We will be posting updates as the book progresses!